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"The Murders At Wilmington," Richmond Planet, November 19, 1898


"The Murders At Wilmington," Richmond Planet, November 19, 1898


Richmond Planet


Richmond Planet


"The Murders At Wilmington," Richmond Planet, November 19, 1898.




Koontz, Cindy




Richmond, Virginia
Wilmington, North Carolina
New Hanover County, North Carolina
Richmond County, Virginia

Original Format

Newspaper Article



The outrageous happening at Wilmington¸ N. C., almost surpasses comprehension. Never in the history of this country have we seen or heard of anything like it before.

A mob takes possession of the city, and without due cause murders twenty-five inoffensive and unarmed colored people, drives hundreds to the woods to starve and die, forces the city officials to leave the city and then duly install themselves in their places, without the shadow of an excuse or the sanction of law.

To-day, they hold possession of the government of that municipality. The Governor of the state, D. L. Russell is cowed and the President of the United States is silent.

This is the logical result of compromising with wrong. It is an object lesson to the thoughtful, a warning to the government at Washington. If these treasonable revolutionists can without legal or military question take forcible possession of the reins of the city government, why cannot a body of equally lawless men take forcible possession of the reins of a state government, and finally of the national government?

“We are building worse than we know.” We are permitting the seeds of anarchy to take root. We are encouraging the rule of the mob instead of the supremacy of law and order and it will yet cost us much blood and treasure. In no country in Europe, not excepting the so-called barbarous TURKEY could such a condition of affairs obtain.

A M Waddell has by treasonable practices declared himself Mayor of Wilmington and this too in the face of the laws of the state of North Carolina.

Who made him Mayor? From whom did he secure his authority? Was it from the red-handed murderers, who fiend-like butchered helpless, innocence, left families bereaved and mourning, while the hapless prayers of the widows and orphans were ascending to DANIEL’S GOD?

Was it from the hands of the white lawyers, the doctors, the merchants and preachers, who while inciting the mobs to deeds of murderous violence, under our laws became particep criminals,--murderers themselves?

If so, show the world your commission. Point out the letters, trace each one in blood and let the people of this nation read the characters stamped across its face. Let them ponder over the fact that the authority given it treason in the eyes of the law of the land and the possessor of it called a traitor by all the law-books beginning with BLACKSTONE and ending with the latest compilations of those of this country.

A M Waddell, leader of the mob at Wilmington, you have a blood stained title.

Tell not the colored people of your desire to preserve the peace and maintain order. The declaration came too late. Walk a few steps into the residential neighborhood where rests the bodies of your victims. Their blood is crying from the ground for vengeance, not in this world, sir, but in the one to come.

Go to the hospital, in the suburbs of Wilmington and see the suffering you have caused there. Hear the mourns of the sufferers and the prayers to the widows’ GOD. Think you that you will escape punishment. Retribution will surely follow, and the punishment will come to you.

It was a sad day for Wilmington when these murderers killed it citizens. It will be sadder times when the punishment of Him, who never sleeps follows.

We are having a hard time of it, and our oppressors are gloating over our misery, but we are not without hope. All of the good white people in the South are not dead, but in the neighborhood of Wilmington, they are painfully silent.

It was murder and treason in North Carolina. The law is specific in both cases. But, who, there cares for the law? Who has thought of the sworn obligations which would have made such an outrage impossible? Of the cut-throats and murderers—not one!


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Richmond Planet, "The Murders At Wilmington," Richmond Planet, November 19, 1898, Civil War Era NC, accessed April 19, 2024,